With roots and influences as diverse as punk rock, Classical, Jazz, and the music of India, Dustin is always finding ways to expand his musical horizon.
Dustin began playing music at an early age. His first instrument was the cello and he briefly took piano lessons. In high school he picked up the guitar and began playing with other musicians and joined his first band, Mediokra. It was also during this time he played on the drummer's set and consequently discovered his love for drums. He traded his guitar amp for his first set of drums and, along with guitarist Kelly Massey, formed the punk rock group Victim From Birth and played for enthusiastic audiences in punk clubs, garages, parks, and living rooms in Amarillo.
From 1997-2000 Dustin majored in music at Amarillo College where he studied piano, drumming, and marimba. In addition to the traditional music theory and ear training he was taught in his classes he immersed himself in the study of the jazz idiom with the guidance of Amarillo College professor and saxophonist Dr. Jim Laughlin. Adams earned his Associate Degree in Music from Amarillo College in 2000.
Dustin's first jazz gig playing drum set was with veteran West Coast jazz guitarist and singer Jimmy James and pianist E.P. Simmons. Adams was taken under the wings of jazz musicians in Amarillo including: Hugo Loewenstern, Jimmy James, Dr. Jim Laughlin, Jim Griffin, Donovan Stokes, and others. Over the course of the next three years he played in various groups with many local jazz alumni.
Cabinet Crisis, a punk band that Dustin played drums in along with vocalist Chris Oles, guitarist Casey Clark, and bassist Brady Clark, was the headlining local act at the 2000 Brian Deneke Unity Through Diversity Music Festival where they opened for Mike Watt with renowned bassist and composer Donovan Stokes joining the linup for this special event.
|Sitarist Tom Griffin and Dustin Adams 2003|
From 2001-05 Dustin lived in Denton, TX and attended the University of North Texas (UNT) as a music and biology major. Dustin studied tabla with Neel Bhaat in Dallas from 2001-02. Tabla is a pair of drums used in the Hindustani Classical Music of North India with a unique and intricate rhythmic language. Dustin also made Sunday trips across Dallas for about a year to to accompany Nilendu Jani's weekly bansuri class and made his tabla performance debut with the same group in 2002 at the Asian Festival in Dallas. From 2002-05 Dustin performed with sitarist Tom Griffin 2-3 times weekly at Indian restaurants in the Dallas Metroplex as well as several Indian weddings and other functions.
While at UNT Dustin was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn Carnatic (South India) musical theory and solkattu (the rhythmic language of South India) with mridangamist and composer Poovalur Srinivasan. Dustin studied mridangam, a South Indian hand drum, with Srinivasan for the next year. Dustin attended a multitude of Indian music concerts via The Indian Classical Music Circle of Dallas/Ft. Worth having the opportunity to attend performances of maestros such as Ravi Shankar w/Anoushka Shankar, L. Subramaniam, U. Srinivas, Shankar, Shiv Kumar Sharma w/Zakir Hussain, Anindo Chatterjee, Debashish Bhattacharya, and others.
From 2003-04 Adams played drum set with the Garland, TX based post-hardcore band Lady of the Lake and played many shows around Dallas, went on a short tour, and recorded several songs in the studio.
From 2003-05 Dustin played in the group Harry Has a Head Like a Ping Pong Ball with bassist Nathan Fenoglio, and guitarist Travis Laminack. The trio was a musical experiment in eccentricity with "stop-of-a-dime" stylistic, tempo, rhythmic, and time signature changes. No musical territory was off-limits to Harry Has a Head as they incorporated punk, bluegrass, funk, jazz, metal, progressive rock, as well as other styles. “Post-Apocalyptic Time Travel Core” was recorded in 2005 at Foundation Sound inside a converted semi-trailer inside an airplane hanger.
Dustin left Denton and spent the last half of 2005 in Los Angeles, CA returning to Amarillo in 2006 where he stayed busy performing with The Jim Laughlin Quartet, The Fakebooks, Patrick Swindell and Pizzazz, Jazz Alley, as well as variety of other local and visiting musical artists including: Donovan Stokes, Jim and Tom Griffin, Jason Berg, Noah Baerman, Mike Vax, Carlos Casso (The Martinis), Fred Hamilton, Woody Witt, and others.
|The Fakebooks @ FireSlice|
Perry Justus, drums, Steven Ronk, bass, and Dustin Adams
In 2009 Dustin, collaborating with drumming phenom Perry Justus and bassist Steven Ronk, formed The Fakebooks. They performed as a piano trio w/guests regularly at many events and venues. Highlights include kicking off the June Jazz summer jazz concert series at Amarillo College in 2010, playing the Annual Polk St. Block Party in downtown Amarillo, Sunday Jazz @ The 806 coffee shop, regular appearances at Fireslice Pizza, D'Vine Wine, and many others.
Highlight performances from 2006-2011 in Amarillo include the 2007 Brian Deneke Memorial Festival with bassist/composer Donovan Stokes and drummer Perry Justus, playing OrchXtra for the Amarillo Little Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol” and performing the trumpet score on a Yamaha DX7 for ALT’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman", playing a jazz quartet gig at The West Texas State University President’s House with WTAMU music faculty, countless gigs at The Amarillo Club, and many others.
Relocating to Colorado in 2011, Dustin has played and recorded with Denver Jazz band Minor Note Orchestra, accompanied Professor Sarah Morelli’s North Indian Music Ensemble at Lamont School of Music/University of Denver on tabla throughout 2012, has performed at Swallow Hill Music Association on tabla with guitarist/sitarist Chris “Citrus” Sauthoff and on another occasion with saxophonist Aakash Mittal. Dustin spent much of 2012 backing up funk-jazz trumpeter and band leader Doug "Sir DJ de Horn" Jackson.
Venues in Denver and the greater Colorado area where Adams has performed include: Lamont School of Music (University of Denver), Swallow Hill Music Association, El Chapultapec, Mercury Cafe, D-Note, Greeley Jazz Festival, 3 Kings Tavern, Pueblo Union Depot, Goorin Bros. Hat Company, El Charrito, El Chapultapec Too, Blast-O-Mat, Tennyson's Tap, The Orchard Festival in Westminster, Denver Art Society, Vita Restaurant, Irish Rover, Herman's Hideaway, India's Pearl Martini Bar, Dixon's Downtown Grill, Dicken's Christmas Store, Zink Hotel Lounge, Denver Public Library, Smokey Hill Library, Yellow Feather Coffee, Arada Ethiopian Restaurant, Mile High Station, BarBar, Pesce Fresco, Avanti Music Academy, Writer Square, private functions, and more.
|Sybil Vane & The Fakebooks|
@ Swallow Hill Music Association
Current music projects include the jazz/funk/punk/opera project Sybil Vane and The Fakebooks with vocalist Sybil Vane a.k.a. Molly Zackary, bassist Jonathan Bohannon, and drummer Nathan Byrne and other special musical guests.
Dustin regularly performs and records with a variety of musicians.